Puxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Sunday, foreboding that we’ll have six more weeks of winter upon us. For those of you ready to pack your bags and move to Florida, don’t book your plane tickets just yet. We have some helpful tips that will help you save energy while staying warm amidst the extended winter.
- Sunlight is your friend. As we get closer to spring, it stays lighter longer — which means you have a great opportunity to heat your home naturally. Leave your window coverings open during the day to let in that natural light and let the sun heat your home in the process.
- Be cautious when using space heaters. While portable heaters can be effective in warming up cold spaces, they consume quite a bit of energy. If you are going to supplement your heating with a space heater, avoid falling prey to marketing claims that certain space heaters are more energy efficient. Whether you spend $30 or $300 on your space heater, it is the wattage that predicts energy use. If the cheap device and the expensive one are both 1,500-watt heaters, they will produce the same heat and use the same energy, despite the cost difference.
- Remember to continue checking your air filter — about once a month — and change it whenever it looks dirty. A clogged filter does not function at its fullest potential and makes your heating system work harder to keep you warm.
- Keep your water heater below 125° to avoid unnecessary energy consumption that is accompanied by water heater thermostats set at 140°. Plus, reducing the temperature also slows pipe and water heater corrosion.
The groundhog has spoken, and we likely won’t see signs of spring anytime soon — but don’t break out the suitcases and bathing suits just yet. With the coldest days (hopefully) already behind us, these easy energy-saving tips should help you withstand the last weeks of winter.